(BloombergQuint)

BQPortfolio: Financial Tips To Live Happily Ever After

Sonali Porwal and Parijat Choudhari, who tied the knot recently, want to take the first step towards a stronger financial life together.

On this special year-end episode of Portfolio, Gajendra Kothari, managing director of Etica Wealth Management, lists out the basic rules that newlywed couples should follow.

How Many Accounts Do You Have?

For most working professionals today, it’s common to have more than one savings bank account. A new job usually comes with a new salary account, quite often with a different bank.

Kothari advises that a couple should have a bank account each as well a joint account for expenses and investments. They should also have a credit card that is used for all the regular bills–essentially a “regular expenses card”.

After identifying the usual run rate of expenses every month, a couple should ideally transfer this amount to the joint account as soon as they receive their salaries. And one person should take responsibility of paying all the bills or at least to keep a tab of all the bills so that none remains unpaid.

An Emergency Fund

A contingency fund is an absolute must. If both partners are employed in relatively secure jobs, the amount set aside can be as low as six months’ worth of expenses. They should also should keep at least a year’s worth of expenses in a liquid debt fund.

Insurance

With the cost of healthcare rising exponentially, Kothari said it’s always good to supplement their company-provided health and accident insurance with another cover.

For newlyweds, he advises an insurance plan that also covers maternity costs. These kick in two years after a policy is bought and also cover pre- and post-natal care.

A couple should also ideally get term insurance as early as possible to minimise the premium outgo later in life. The cover should be at least 10 times a couple’s annual salary, he said.

Investments And Long-Term Goals

Many couples question the need for retirement planning. Their focus invariably drifts towards the here and now. Sonali and Parijat are no different, and prioritise their goal to see 50 countries by the time they’re 50. That’ll require them to travel twice every year.

Kothari cautions that the burden of saving for retirement rises the longer you postpone it, and advises them to at least make a start.

Watch the full episode here: